Free Transcription Tools


Since transcription in many fields - medical transcription, tv/movie subtitling, linguistic annotations etc. - is part of core LDS business, we have been constantly collecting, evaluating, customizing - and in some cases creating from scratch - transcription tools in order to provide better and cheaper transcribed data to our customers faster.

The following is a snapshot of the free transcription tools that we've been using through these years. It doesn't include prepriotoray tools we developed internally and our customers provided us for their own transcription projects.

Most of these tools are free Open Source software which can be downloaded for free and possiblily customized for your own purposes.

Tool Name: Transcriber
Platform: Windows XP, Vista; Mac OSX; Linux
  Transcriber is a tool for assisting the manual annotation of speech signals. It provides a user-friendly graphical user interface for segmenting long duration speech recordings, transcribing them, and labeling speech turns, topic changes and acoustic conditions. It is more specifically designed for the annotation of broadcast news recordings, for creating corpora used in the development of automatic broadcast news transcription systems, but its features might be found useful in other areas of speech research.
Tool Name: VoiceWalker
Platform: Windows XP, Vista
  VoiceWalker is a transcriber's tool, designed to help you transcribe audio or video recordings. VoiceWalker lets you play back the sound in a controlled way, with the benefit of being able to systematically step (or "walk") through a recording, repeating short segments for a specified number of repetitions, then moving on to the next segment. The segments overlap, so that the transcriber does not become disoriented.
Tool Name: transcana
Platform: Windows; Mac OSX
  Transana is software for professional researchers who want to analyze digital video or audio data. Transana lets you analyze and manage your data in very sophisticated ways. Transcribe it, identify analytically interesting clips, assign keywords to clips, arrange and rearrange clips, create complex collections of interrelated clips, explore relationships between applied keywords, and share your analysis with colleagues. The result is a new way to focus on your data, and a new way to manage large collections of video and audio files and clips.
Tool Name: EXMARaLDA
  EXMARaLDA is an acronym of "Extensible Markup Language for Discourse Annotation". It is a system of concepts, data formats and tools for the computer assisted transcription and annotation of spoken language, and for the construction and analysis of spoken language corpora. EXMARaLDA is being developed in a project at the Collaborative Research Center "Multilingualism" (Sonderforschungsbereich "Mehrsprachigkeit" - SFB 538) at the University of Hamburg. All components of the EXMARaLDA system are freely available to users outside the SFB.
Tool Name: AGTK
Platform: Windows; Mac OS; Linux
  Annotation Graphs are a formal framework for representing linguistic annotations of time series data. Annotation graphs abstract away from file formats, coding schemes and user interfaces, providing a logical layer for annotation systems. AGTK includes annotation tools such as MultiTrans and TableTrans which can be used to transcribe multi-channel speech signals.